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Greetings to all our readers out there!!! We hope this publication finds you all in good health and good spirits. July has been a busy month for The Ability Center: enhancing implementation or finalizing grants; improving service provision and credibility, enduring the current economic climate of the state, and reacting favorably to the changing nonprofit economic and needs environment. For this month, we will discuss the following:

·        A recap of TACIL’s activities

·        Announcement of our new grant award

·        Tips for going back to school

·        Tips to save while traveling

·        Recipe of the Month

·        Appreciation of our collaborators


TheAbility Center’s three programs continue to do well this month of July:

·        Our Independent Living Program continues providing quality services to persons with disabilities in southwestern New Mexico. We continue to provide the mandated core services plus additional optional services such equipment loans and supplementary food assistance. Our Independent Living is growing in service requests and demands so we’re looking to response to this increase to meet all these demands.

·        Our Social Security Payee Program continues to educate Payees on money management, with Consumers sticking to their budgets, learning about savings, and expanding their financial literacy abilities. This program has grown in enrollment recently, and we’re looking forward to assisting our new Consumers in meeting their financial goals

·        Our Traumatic Brain Injury Life Skills Coaching Program continues serving Southwestern New Mexico. Sadly, the future of the program continues to be bleak as with low viable Consumers, it’s very difficult to make the program financially solvent. As stated, in our past newsletter, we’ll keep everyone informed of what the outcome of this program’s future will be regarding its implementation by The Ability Center.

In collaboration with the Carl C. Anderson, Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation, our food bank program aimed at helping 24 low-income elderly persons with disabilities progresses well. Implementation for July has been carried out without any problems.  We increased the number of participants by 12 for this month.



The Ability Center received an award from the New Mexico Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NMCDHH) to offer American Sign Language (ASL) Classes to the general public in Northwestern and Southwestern New Mexico. For this project, San Juan Center for Independence will collaborate with The Ability Center to provide ASL in northwestern New Mexico . We look forward to implementing an excellent project.



Move over, summer--a new school year is coming! 

With the start of school, families face new organization challenges. School bells ring--and so do early-morning alarm clocks. Shorter autumn days bring a hectic round of sports, activities and events, and calendars fill with cryptic notes. Can the holidays be far behind?

Get organized now for the best school year ever! Use these ideas to prepare your home and family for the busy days ahead:

Create Calendar Central

Each school year floats on a sea of schedules. School functions. Lunch menus. Scout meetings and music lessons. What do you do when you're drowning in paper? 

Nothing calms school year chaos like Calendar Central: a centralized site for all family calendars and schedules. You'll need a family event calendar to track after-school activities, school programs and volunteer work. Add specialized calendars and schedules, and you have it: a one-stop shop for family time management. 

Form is less important than function. A paper calendar with large squares lets you enter information easily. Pre-printed white board calendars are easy to revise when necessary. Color-coding entries by family member helps keep busy lives straight. 

Planner users dedicate a planner section to serve as Calendar Central, while tech-savvy cybergrrrlz store the info in a smart phone and sync with multiple computers. Choose a calendar format that works for your family. 

Post the family event calendar in a public place near the telephone. Use magnets to attach the calendar to the refrigerator, or tack it to a bulletin board. 

Add other calendars to Calendar Central: school lunch menus, class assignment sheets, sports practice schedules. When the room mother calls for field trip volunteers, you'll know at a glance whether you're free to join the group on the bus that day.

Ease the family into a school year schedule. 

The first day of school is no time for a drastic adjustment of household sleep schedules. Instead, ease children back into a school year routine gradually. 

During the last two weeks of summer, re-introduce a school year bedtime. Begin waking late sleepers earlier and earlier, closer to the hour they'll need to rise when school begins. 

Don't neglect mealtimes! Younger children, in particular, need to adapt to new meal routines before the school day demands it of them. Plan meals and snacks to accustom little ones to rituals of the school day before the school year begins. 

Check before you shop

August is the second-biggest sales month for clothing retailers. Back to school clothing sales begin as early as July! Are you prepared to run the school clothes gauntlet? 

An informed shopper is a savvy shopper, so prepare before you shop. Take an afternoon and assess each child's clothing needs. Empty drawers and closets of outgrown or worn-out clothing, and either store or donate the discards. 

Working with your child, clean and organize clothing storage before new garments are added--and cut down on school morning calls of "Mom! I don't have any clean . . . . " 

Develop a wardrobe needs list for each child. Check for possible hand-me-downs from older siblings as you make your list. If you discuss the needs list and the family budget with your children before you shop, you'll avoid in-the-store tantrums. 

Similarly, ask the school for classroom supply lists before shopping for school supplies. Forewarned is forearmed ... and helps protect the family budget.

Do shop early! With back-to-school sales beginning in mid-July, tardy shoppers have a tough time locating needed supplies among September's Halloween costumes and Christmas decorations. 

Gather your papers 

School entry may require documentation from immunization records to report cards from the previous school year. A little preparation can prevent frantic last-minute searches. 

Call your child's school beforehand to find out what paperwork will be required--then find it! You won't be sorry come registration day. 

Take aim on morning madness 

How are school mornings in your home? Crazed and chaotic, or calm and cheerful? Plan ahead to send your schoolchildren out the door in a happy mood. 

Each evening, think ahead to the following morning. Set the breakfast table as you clear the dinner dishes. Lay out children's clothing the night before. 

Multi-child households may need a bathroom schedule so that everyone gets equal time before the mirror. 

What do you do about books and papers, lunch money and permission slips? Practice the Launch Pad concept!  A dedicated space for every family member, a Launch Pad gets the family out the door in record time--and organized.  

Spiff up household systems 

A new school year quickens the tempo of family life. Sports activities, music lessons, church programs and volunteer commitments tap parental time and put new mileage on the mini-van. 

Get organized! Spiff up your household systems to meet autumn's faster pace"

  • Take a stab at speed cleaning and whip through household chores in record time.
  • Cut time in the kitchen: create a menu plan and never again wonder "What's for dinner?"
  • Try a session of freezer cooking and stock the freezer with prepared meals for stress-free dinners on sports nights

Happy New School Year! Time to swing into a new school year--from an organized home.



The American vacation is becoming more and more expensive. Here are ten common sense tips to help you save money on your next vacation.

  • Rent a car. What sounds expensive can actually often save you money. Consider renting a car instead of using the airport shuttle. Many times the cost of the shuttle is more than that of a modest car rental – and you have the flexibility of having available transportation. Also, if you are driving to your destination, renting a car instead of using your own vehicle is often cheaper than the extra wear and tear on your own car. Take advantage of coupons to upgrade to a larger, and more comfortable, vehicle.
  • Eat breakfast where kids eat free and split meals. This can mean an enormous saving for a family of four or larger. Children are many times too excited or tired to eat much at a time. Restaurants that are kid friendly are more than happy to accommodate special requests for extra plates.
  • Eat lunch in your room. You'll be surprised how good a peanut butter sandwich, chips, and fresh fruit tastes away from home, and everyone gets a needed break from the heat and crowds of tourist destinations.
  • Take advantage of coupons. Whether it is for lodging, food, or attractions – coupons SAVE money! Find them everywhere... online, in local newspapers, at convenience stores, motels, etc. Always read the fine print carefully for terms of the coupon.
  • Bring your own stroller. This can save $12 to $15 a day at some of the attractions.
  • Bring along individual refillable water bottles. These can be refilled at the hotel and at attraction water fountains. A family of four could easily spend $20 or more a day buying water.
  • Take advantage of multi-day passes at the attractions. This is especially a good deal when they can be used anytime.
  • Make your own reservations. Many hotels and airlines offer additional discounts and specials for booking online.
  • Give each child a set amount to spend. You can tame the "gimmes", and your pocketbook at the same time, by giving children a pre-set spending limit for souvenirs. Also, invest in an autograph book (about $6 at most attractions) and watch the fun as the children collect the "autographs" of their favorite characters. My girls still cherish their "Barbie" autograph obtained at Epcot several years ago.
  • Spend the day away from the attractions. You're paying for that hotel swimming pool... use it! Spend the day at the beach or a nearby museum. The shopping areas near the major attractions (like Downtown Disney) have children's play areas, providing an inexpensive day of fun for the little ones.


Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Glaze

Dense, bone-in chicken leg quarters benefit from long, slow cooking over indirect heat. The less intense heat also prevents the sweet glaze from burning. Customize the glaze according to what you have on hand; try pineapple preserves or apple jelly in place of mango jam, for example, or hot pepper sauce instead of Sriracha. Serve with a simple slaw of cabbage, carrots, lime juice, and sugar.

*Yield:* 4 servings (serving size: 1 leg-thigh quarter and 1 tablespoon mango mixture)


   * 2/3 cup mango jam
   * 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
   * 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
   * 2 tablespoons Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
   * 1 tablespoon olive oil
   * 4 (12-ounce) bone-in chicken leg-thigh quarters, skinned
   * 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
   * 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Prepare grill for indirect grilling. If using a gas grill, heat one side to medium-high and leave one side with no heat. If using a charcoal grill, arrange hot coals on either side of charcoal grate, leaving an empty space in the middle.

2. Combine mango jam, chives, vinegar, and Sriracha, stirring until smooth. Reserve 1/4 cup mango mixture; set aside.

3. Brush oil evenly over chicken. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

4. Carefully remove grill rack. Place a disposable aluminum foil pan on unheated part of grill. Carefully return grill rack to grill. Place chicken on grill rack over unheated part. Brush chicken with about 2 tablespoons remaining mango mixture. Close lid; grill 90 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 165°, turning chicken and brushing with about 2 tablespoons mango mixture every 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Drizzle chicken with reserved 1/4 cup mango mixture.

Wine note: This dish's tropical fruit flavors and spicy heat are ideal for gewürztraminer, a popular grape of Germany and France. The mango and apricot flavors of the highly aromatic Hugel gewürztraminer 2006 ($20) echo those of the glaze, while a slightly sweet lychee nut character helps to balance the heat. —Jeffery Lindenmuth

   Nutritional Information

   326 (29% from fat)
   10.4g (sat 2.3g,mono 4.7g,poly 2.1g) Protein:


The Ability Center wants to take the time to thank the following individuals and (or) organizations for the great contributions they have made to the Center helping to fulfill our mission:

·        Aging and Long Term Services: Traumatic Brain Injury Program

·        Blas Rel

·        Carl C. Anderson Sr. & Marie Jo Anderson Foundation

·        Casa De Oro Care Center

·        Chris Van Horn

·        Christina Little of the United Way of Southwestern New Mexico

·        Deming Luna County Commission on Aging

·        Independent Living Resource Center of Albuquerque

·        Our Dedicated Board of Directors

·        Our Dedicated Staff

·        Rehabilitation Services Administration

·        San Juan Center for Independence

·        Sandra Williams

·        Social Security Administration

·        The McCune Charitable Foundation

·        The New Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons

·        The New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Area 3 Office

·        The New Mexico Governor’s Commission on Disability

·        Wal-Mart on Valley, in Las Cruces, NM

Most importantly, our Consumers for having faith in us and coming back to us for assistance to live a high quality of life in their communities free of exploitation and institutionalization.

715 E. Idaho Ave., Ste 3E Las Cruces NM USA
Phone: 575-526-5016  |  Fax: 575-526-1202